After fending off an anti-competition investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, Google might’ve thought it was in the clear. But for a company this big and with this many customers, controversy is never far away.
Internet users and news media have accused the company of killing an innocent donkey in the Kweneng region of Botswana. Their evidence? A snap shot from Street View in which the donkey appears to be laying prostrate in the road after being hit by a Street View vehicle.
Google was quick to respond to the outrage with a blog post.
“Because of the way our 360-degree imagery is put together it looked to some that our car had been involved in an unseemly hit and run, leaving the humble beast stranded in the road.”
The donkey, says Google, was taking a “dust bath” when the car rumbled up and moved to the side of the road as the car passed. Further images, such as the one to the right, support their claim and show the donkey standing up apparently unscathed.
“I am pleased to confirm that the donkey is alive and well,” wrote Kei Kawai, group project manager of Google maps and author of the post.
Though Google’s competitors say the search giant has many sins on its hands, killing a donkey in Botswana is apparently not one of them.